Llama and alpaca, what is the difference?

During your luxury travel to Peru, you will certainly have the opportunity to meet the famous llamas. But you will most probably meet also the less famous alpacas and vicuñas.

But what is the difference? This article will help you to spot the difference between a llama, an alpaca and a vicuña during your luxury trip to Peru.

Especially the llamas and alpacas are often confused despite of their quite distinct characteristics. Peruvians and our guides will be glad to explain you the differences between these animals during your luxury tour.

The first difference is that llamas are taller than alpacas. Then the shape of their heads differs as well, with Llamas having a longer muzzle and larger ears. While Alpacas are fluffier, they have flatter muzzles and smaller ears. The guides of our travel agency in Peru will be glad to help you to identify these first types of differences.

These two types of camelids are domesticated, unlike vicuñas which are wild. Vicuñas are more easily distinguished from the other two species, as they are skinnier, smaller and less fluffy. However, you should know that the vicuña’s wool is the softest and most expensive in Peru. During your luxury trip to Peru maybe you would like to buy some clothes made from vicuña’s wool.

Llamas live in the Andes of Peru and it is the emblematic animal of the land of the Incas. It can be found on the flag of Peru.

Legends say llamas have been domesticated in Peru around 4000-5000 years ago from guanacos, the wild ancestor of llamas. However, in reality, these animals moved from North America to South America and Peru after Ice Age.

During the pre-Inca and Inca periods, llamas were used for meat and fiber. Llamas’ dung was an important fertilizer. Today, llamas are still raised to produce meat and fiber, but they are also good sheep and goat keepers. Llamas help to protect lambs from coyotes, wild dogs, and other predators.

Where to see llamas and alpacas in Peru

During your private luxury travel to Peru, you can meet llamas in Ollantaytambo, one of the most famous cities in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here you will have the opportunity to see Peruvian women walking their llamas in the streets. One of the advantages of the private luxury tour is that you can take your time during the sightseeing and take nice photos with llamas and alpacas. Your private guide will be glad to assist you.

According to the itinerary of your tailor-made luxury trip to Peru, you can also meet vicuñas in the Colca Canyon or when you will cross the National Reserve of Aguada Blanca. In case you spend the overnight at the Belmond Las Casitas hotel in the Colca Valley, you can also meet llamas and alpacas, and cuddle them next to your hotel room.

And of course we cannot forget about the famous Machu Picchu where people often meet llamas and alpacas too. A great opportunity for the travelers to experience the architectural symbol of the country and its iconic animal at the same time.

We hope that this article prepared by the team of our travel agency will help you to distinguish easier between llama, alpaca and vicuña during your private luxury travel to Peru.

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